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Koffin Kats Don't Care for Your Whiny Ass Shit

The bad boys of Detroit punk-psychobilly make their return to The Motor City to perform at this year's stacked Blackout BBQ Festival. After blowing the minds of audience members, including mine, at The Southgate House in Kentucky, I briefly spoke with bass player and lead swooner, Vic Victor, about plans for a new album, scaling down their rigorous tour schedule, and what exactly will keep the sharply dressed men busy; and in such a short amount of time, Mr. Victor provided me with more than I asked for.

Bills Bills Bills
As we got a little bit older, within the last two years, [we took] the money that we were getting from the band and turned it around into businesses that could keep us at home...not because we wanted to be at home, but because as a band grows you can only play Chicago so many times a year, you can only play L.A. so many times a year, ya' know?  We were going through the schedule and we were going through the west coast every six months on rotation.  The guarantee stayed the same, it was just expected that we would come back.  We needed to do that to keep exposure happening but also to pay our bills. Less time on the road means more time in Detroit, and in order to make up for performing less shows, we're doing screen printing and embroidery (Industrious Dudes Merchandising). We do that to basically make ends meet at the end of the month.  We've been really fortunate, but it only goes so far. People not in bands don't understand that it might cost you $200 to get to the next city, it might cost you $6,000 to get to the next city.  There's so many factors and we put ourselves so far in debt, but I don't want to be 45 years old and be in the same spot I was in when I was 25 years old and neither does anyone else in this band.

Tour Life
We got to a point where we were like, we needed to tone it back, and in our personal lives things were happening. Like, we needed to be home a little bit more than two months out of the year, so in the last year and a half we scaled back the amount of shows that we've been doing, and instead of 250 shows, we're doing about 100, maybe a little bit less.

Young Bands
I fucking can't stand it when a band goes out on tour, especially a younger band, and all they do is whine, whine, whine.  For the first eight years of the band, we were working odd jobs and we were working our asses off to be able to say to our bosses, 'Hey, can we take a month off', 'Hey can we take two months off', and 'Hey we got something coming up, can we take three months off?' Eventually we worked ourselves out of  normal job into this job, but I can't fucking stand whining about being on tour.  When you're playing to people and people paying your bills, what the fuck is there to complain about? Yeah everyone loses their fucking girlfriend or boyfriend because they're away for two weeks or whatever; or you make stupid decisions, or people assume that you're making stupid decisions, that's the sacrifice that you make when you're in a band. I see so much whiny ass shit it's obnoxious. (Laughs) If you're in a band, you just need to realize that you revoke all ability to whine, and just be grateful you're out there.  If you're making a living being in a band, you have no fucking room to complain.

New Shit
I'm working at it at the same pace as the first album.  The first album, I wasn't in any hurry, I didn't know I was going to be recording it.  I just wrote songs because I was learning how to play music, learning how to play the style of music which would eventually become Koffin Kats, and I'm taking that same approach where the second to the most recent album was always like 'we're going to record on this date, let's have this many songs done', and really I work really well under pressure. We have enough material out where I don't need to put anything out, I'm just kind of waiting for these gems to pop up in my head.  I probably got a handful of songs at the moment and I kind of wanted to take things back to the beginning. I'm two sided on this. I can't fucking stand the people that go, 'Wow, that band, they're never as good as their first album', because I don't believe that. A lot of my favorite bands, their albums are cool, but it's about seeing the progression for better or worse. To be in a good band, you have to make these moves and it might be an awesome direction or it might go the other way. I'm not too proud to say that I don't miss how the old sound was...I put whatever effort into that album with the same mentality that I'm putting into this one.

The Detroit Influence
Really the only factor that Detroit has in our sound is our location is ten minutes outside of Detroit.  I didn't get into MC5 or Iggy Pop or Ted Nugent...but it's just a place that we're from.  The Detroit influence doesn't have any more effect on us, or I should say has the same effect, to any other band from anywhere in the US.  In a sense, what MC5 and The Stooges created [or] what Alice Cooper created, we could've been from Idaho and had the same exact influences as what the bands from Detroit would. We've never been a band to say, 'Oh we're from Detroit, that's what made our sound', or 'We're hard-working because we're from Detroit'. No, we're hard working because we didn't want to work the shitty jobs that Detroit had to offer for us. So if there's any influence Detroit ever had upon us, it's the career that we had to look unfortunately forward to.

Koffin Kats will perform at Saturday's Blackout BBQ, and my only suggestion is to leave your whiny ass shit at home or Vic Victor may put you in check.

Email to win Koffin Kats's "Our Way & the Highway"
*will mail to any location, contest ends on Friday, August 14, 2015 at 6:00 PM